Harris highlights 'challenges' for women after Warren drops out

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit Biden's marijuana plan is out of step with public opinion MORE (D-Calif.) and other leading liberal women drew attention to sexism and the uphill battle female candidates face in running for president after Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenProgressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel Biden campaign announces second round of staff hires in Arizona MORE (D-Mass.) dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination on Thursday.

“This election cycle in particular has ... presented very legitimate questions about the challenges of women running for president of the United States,” Harris told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Following former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrat Dana Balter to face Rep. John Katko in NY House rematch GOP lawmaker: Don't believe polls showing Trump behind Biden Kyle Van De Water wins New York GOP primary to challenge Rep. Antonio Delgado MORE’s stunning election loss to President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE in 2016, many Democrats hoped that 2020 was the year that a woman would win the White House, particularly with five women running for the Democratic nomination.

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But in addition to Warren and Harris, Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response State election officials warn budget cuts could lead to November chaos Biden strikes populist tone in blistering rebuke of Trump, Wall Street MORE (D-Minn.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandBiden campaign announces second round of staff hires in Arizona Democrats seek to tie GOP candidates to Trump, DeVos Democratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights MORE (D-N.Y.) have ended their presidential bids.

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Hawaii) is the last remaining woman in the contest, but she has not qualified for the past few Democratic debates and has not been competitive in the primary races so far.

The Democratic nominating contest has come down to two white men in their 70s, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign slams Trump's Rose Garden event as 'sad affair' New shutdowns add to Trump woes CNN cuts away from Trump's 'campaign-type' Rose Garden speech MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden aspires to become America's auto-pen president Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden pledges carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan | Trump administration has been underestimating costs of carbon pollution, government watchdog finds | Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law MORE (I-Vt.).

“Look at what's happened. There are no women currently in this race,” Harris said.

“The reality is that there's still a lot of work to be done to make it very clear that women are exceptionally qualified and capable of being the commander in chief of the United States of America.”

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Throughout her presidential run, Warren made a point of taking pictures with young girls and telling them that they can achieve whatever they want, including becoming the next president.

“We 100 percent know that the ripple effects of Elizabeth Warren's big ideas campaign for president will be felt for months, years, and decades — and someday a little girl who pinky swore to Elizabeth that she would run for office will be sworn into Congress and as President," Stephanie Taylor and Adam Green, the co-founders of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

Some progressives blamed the news media, alleging sexism led to coverage that tilted the playing field against the women.

“It is clear from Warren’s campaign that  there is a glass ceiling held firmly in place for women by a media who relentlessly shape voters perceptions of who is electable through a deeply sexist lens,” said Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder of UltraViolet Action, a liberal women’s group.

"In a year in which primary voters' top concerns is electability — the media has had a massive impact on how voters perceived the candidates — and when Warren was on the top of the polls, the main narrative driven by the media was that she was not electable. That’s unacceptable. It is the media's sexism that determined Warren's fate — from the clear evidence of her erasure in their reporting as a leading candidate to the persistent questioning of her electability — and the media is responsible for hurting her ability to win support amongst primary voters,” Thomas said.